Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cowardice in the UK

Media Guardian (reg. required) reports that employees of a UK tabloid forced their paper to stop publication of a feature spoofing fundamentalist Muslims:

The Daily Star last night pulled a page that mocked Muslim law by turning the tabloid into the "Daily Fatwa" following a newsroom revolt.

Management acted after the Daily Star's National Union of Journalists' chapel held a stop work meeting that produced a resolution condemning the page.

The page included a "Page 3 burqa babes special" showing a woman in a niqab, as part of a feature billed as "How your favourite paper would look under Muslim law".

The page also contained a blank editorial stamped with the words "censored" and "Allah is great" while across the top of the page were the words "no news no goss no fun".

This was apparently too much for the Daily Star's journalists, who demanded that the page not be published:

At a hastily arranged stop work NUJ chapel meeting, staff voiced fears of violent reprisals and carried a motion that condemned the feature.

"This National Union of Journalists chapel expresses its deep concern at the content of page 6 in tomorrow's Daily Star which we consider to be deliberately offensive to Muslims," the motion read.

"The chapel fears that this editorial content poses a very serious risk of violent and dangerous reprisals from religious fanatics who may take offence at these articles. This may place the staff in great jeopardy. This chapel urges the management to remove the content immediately."

(Emphasis added-DD)

Good to know that the NUJ courageously stands for self-censorship in the face of possible "violent and dangerous reprisals from religious fanatics".

Naturally, the NUJ had to try to put the best possible spin on the actions of its local chapter:

The NUJ general secretary, Jeremy Dear, said: "This was an outrageous and hugely irresponsible idea which fortunately our chapel courageously resisted and, in so doing, protected both the paper and its staff from possible serious repercussions.

"The union's code of conduct condemns this sort of gratuitous material which is likely to encourage discrimination and hatred in our society.

Yes, kudos to the Daily Star employees, who "courageously resisted" the side they knew would not try to saw their heads off in the middle of the street. I wonder, though, would they have been nearly as worried about encouraging "discrimination and hatred" had the page in question mocked Christians or Jews or Americans? Somehow, I doubt it.

As with the Idomeneo affair , it is clear that the Islamists have created a climate in Europe where they don't even have to make any death threats to get results. Just the possibility of jihadist violence is enough to persuade many Europeans to censor themselves.

(Link courtesy of Tim Blair)


Post a Comment

<< Home